phobia

noun
pho·​bia | \ ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce phobia (audio) \

Definition of phobia

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation

Definition of -phobia (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : exaggerated fear of acrophobia
2 : intolerance or aversion for photophobia

Examples of phobia in a Sentence

Noun His fear of crowds eventually developed into a phobia.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Located near Philadelphia is the Friggatriskaidekaphobia Treatment Center, an organization that hosts parties centered on confronting common phobias like walking under a ladder and opening an umbrella indoors. Melonyce Mcafee And Lisa Rose, CNN, "13 fun facts about Friday the 13th," 13 Sep. 2019 Shelia Champion believes phobias bring us to fascination. Amanda Khorramabadi, al, "The Good Earth: Alabama’s first green burial ground," 20 Aug. 2019 While critics were quick to call it augmented reality that ran parallel to Modi’s India, BJP members asked supporters to unsubscribe from a Hindu-bashing Netflix that spread phobia about the community. Rana Ayyub, Time, "What a Rising Tide of Violence Against Muslims in India Says About Modi's Second Term," 28 June 2019 Body positivity in Brittany Runs a Marathon Brittany Runs a Marathon, seemingly aware of how its central weight-loss plot could be perceived, tries to address the issue of fat phobia head-on. Sarah Todd, Quartzy, "Can you be body-positive and want to lose weight?," 4 Sep. 2019 Among his eccentricities was a phobia of getting his head wet. Smithsonian, "John Steinbeck’s Epic Ocean Voyage Rewrote the Rules of Ecology," 22 Aug. 2019 Almost one in five people with anxiety disorders misuse alcohol, and those with social phobia report less physical activity. Arman Azad, CNN, "Why people with mental illness may face poorer physical health and early death," 16 July 2019 Today the Republic of California, as a couple of dozen settlers christened it in 1846 during the Mexican-American War, again feels like a breakaway state, with its own mores, laws, phobias, and monumental contradictions. Michael Greenberg, The New York Review of Books, "Michael Greenberg," 17 Jan. 2019 Some people have allergies, some have legitimate phobias, and some hate returning to their desks only to find their computer cords chewed up by a co-worker’s puppy. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "The most dog-friendly offices in the US, according to Rover.com," 12 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phobia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of phobia

Noun

1786, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for phobia

Noun

-phobia

Noun combining form

New Latin, from Late Latin, from Greek, from -phobos fearing, from phobos fear, flight, from phebesthai to flee; akin to Lithuanian bėgti to flee, Old Church Slavonic běžati

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about phobia

Dictionary Entries near phobia

pho

phob-

-phobe

phobia

-phobia

phobic

-phobic

Statistics for phobia

Last Updated

9 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for phobia

The first known use of phobia was in 1786

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for phobia

phobia

noun
How to pronounce -phobia (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of phobia

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an extremely strong dislike or fear of someone or something

English Language Learners Definition of -phobia (Entry 2 of 2)

: an extremely strong dislike or fear of someone or something

phobia

noun
pho·​bia | \ ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce phobia (audio) \

Kids Definition of phobia

: an unreasonable, abnormal, and lasting fear of something

phobia

noun
pho·​bia | \ ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce phobia (audio) \

Medical Definition of phobia

: an exaggerated and often disabling fear usually inexplicable to the subject and having sometimes a logical but usually an illogical or symbolic object, class of objects, or situation — compare compulsion, obsession

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on phobia

What made you want to look up phobia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an agreement to stop fighting a war

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!